Kojic acid has become one of the most popular skin lightening ingredients. Considered much safer than hydroquinone it has also been shown to be just as effective when used properly.
Firstly, What Is Kojic Acid?
Kojic acid is produced by species of fungi such as Aspergillus Oryzae. And the Japanese name for Aspergillus Oryzae is ‘koji’ – hence the name kojic acid. It is used in cosmetics and different types of foods to keep or change colors. When it is treated with ferric ions a red complex is formed. During the preparation of malting rice, which is used in the manufacture of sake, kojic acid is formed as a by-product. So it’s a naturally occuring substance.
What Is It Used For?
Apart from the various uses in the food industry it is mainly used in cosmetic products to help lighten the skin. It is also used to treat skin problems such as melasma.
How Long Does Kojic Acid Take To Work?
OK, so the main question is how long it really takes to work. So the answer is that it can actually take up to 3 months to see the full skin lightening effects of using kojic acid. But for darker skins, it might take some more time than that. So you do need to be prepared for that and have some patience.
Although the typical time for kojic acid to give proper results is 2 to 3 months, it can also start to show results in as little as a week. The results come gradually over the weeks and months and some people will notice those changes a bit sooner than others.
How Often To Use It?
It should always be used according to the specific instructions of the product. This is typically every day to get the best results. But it should not be used too frequently because it can cause hypersensitivity reactions. It can however help to gently exfoliate occasionally before using it to help the product get into your skin better.
Kojic acid is however considered safe for everyone, i.e it is safe for all skin types. Kojic acid is also approved by dermatologists and used by aestheticians.
How Does It Work?
Kojic acid fights skin darkening because it inhibits the enzyme responsible for the production of melanin. This is the pigment responsible for our skin color. So it directly causes the darkening of our skin.
Stay Out Of The Sun
We know that kojic acid helps in inhibiting the enzyme responsible for the production of melanin. But why encourage melanin production at all? In other words – if you are trying to lighten your skin using such products, then you need to be careful to stay out of the sun and apply sunscreen to help reduce the production of melanin.
Lighter skins are also more sensitive to sunlight so as your skin lightens you will also need to be more careful in the sun anyway. Be sun safe and enjoy your lighter complexion.